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Chicago Art Museums Add Joy To The Holidays

Dec 21, 2015
Museum of Contemporary Art

On a shopping trip or visit in the new year to Chicago, discover art treasures that will add joy and memories to your holidays. You’ll find wonderful art galore at the Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Driehaus Museum, all located conveniently on or near Michigan Avenue.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

In 2009 a movement was created by Blythe Hill, who had a unique idea to take on human trafficking. Human trafficking is the practice of using people, mostly women and children, against their will for work that includes everything from sweat-shop factory work to sex-slavery. You can see a TED talk Hill gave about her project earlier this year, below. She calls it, Dressember.

Jason Parrott

The Illinois Veterans Home where a summer Legionnaire's disease outbreak led to 12 deaths and sickened more than 40 others is replacing its water systems and making other emergency repairs. 

It's the time of the year when Katie Abrams sees her Fort Collins, Colo., neighbors pulling up with real trees tied to car roofs. She feels small pangs of jealousy when friends post woodsy pictures in flannel shirts, cutting down the perfect spruce.

Illinois' budget crisis won't be resolved this year.  Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders are sticking to their respective positions, and this week House Speaker Michael Madigan didn't attend a meeting that focused on discussion of term limits and other aspects of Rauner's demands.  WBEZ Public Radio's Tony Arnold joins the panel.

Amanda Vinicky

It'll be 2016 before Illinois' top political leaders meet again, as a historic stalemate grinds on. 

The Scene Talks About The Scene

Dec 18, 2015
FX

This week Scott mentions his cover story for the Illinois Times this week in which he hosted a round-table discussion about what local venues are doing to attract talent and get people out to see shows. Check it out here.  

Meanwhile, if you have an idea as to who would be good to add to our guest host roster for next year when it comes to gabbin' about the scene, email Rachel.

We take a look at what this weekend will bring, take a listen:

Events discussed this week include:

  There was something about the handwriting spelling out her address that caused Letitia Dewith-Anderson to lay the envelope aside when it arrived on Tuesday. When she finally opened it Wednesday night, and found a flyer featuring a swastika, “white power” slogans and an application to join the American Nazi Party. 

City of Wheaton website

Illinois has more individual units of government than any other state. A report approved Thursday by a gubernatorial task force says that ought to change.

Eliminating the requirement that governments print public notices in newspapers, allowing citizens to use referendum to dissolve units of local government, and repealing the prevailing wage (which stipulates what construction workers get paid for government projects): These are the recommendations that'll be included in the report.

Amanda Vinicky

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislative leaders went half a year without all getting together, but Thursday they met for the third time in as many weeks ... most of them anyway.  A major player was missing.

The private meeting in the governor's office lasted an hour and 40 minutes.

Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno described it as a "good" meeting.

"We are still talking about the same issues we've been talking about," she said. "We'll be digging in a little deeper on pensions and workers' comp. We also talked about redistricting reform, term limits."

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / NPR | Illinois Public Radio

While carolers sing about peace on earth, parents stress about the ever-increasing list of things that must be done before December 25.  Not only is there little Peace on Earth, there’s little peace in our homes.

The thought of Christmas evokes nostalgia as we imagine the Norman Rockwell holiday we hope to enjoy.  But the reality is often very different.  For many, Christmas has become an exhausting undertaking with countless “special” events piled on top of already crowded lives.

Illinois Issues: No Place To Call Home - Pt. 3

Dec 17, 2015
Kartemquin

The state budget impasse could put more young people out on the streets this winter.  

springfieldart.org / prairieart.org

Two of Springfield's most prominent arts groups will be merging come January 1st. 

In an effort to make funding more sustainable, the Prairie Art Alliance and the Springfield Art Association will be combining. Both sides voted on the change nearly unanimously on Wednesday. Betsy Dollar heads the Springfield Art Association and says the PAA will be joining forces with it and its campus on the north side of town. 

Pew Research Center

  The middle class is no longer the nation’s economic majority. That is according to last week’s Pew Research Center analysis of government data, and a local economist says the trends for the nation are likely duplicated in Illinois.

hot dogs neon sign
Jeremy Brooks / via Flickr.com/jeremybrooks

Even though much of Illinois government is operating without a budget, the state is still looking to spend money. Right now, on Illinois’ procurement website, there are dozens of notices. Reporter Kurt Erickson returns to State of the State for a procurement primer.

TRANSCRIPT: From NPR Illinois, it’s State of the State. I’m Brian Mackey, and the state of the state today is on a buying spree.

SOUNDBITE: "And they ran out of hot dog spice, or wiener spice, as I called it. And they had to go out and try to find some and emergency purchase."

Wednesday is the first day on the job for the new Director of Downtown Springfield Incorporated.  Stott sat down with Bill Wheelhouse and talked about her plans and challenges ahead.

In the past, DSI funded itself through a couple of major downtown festivals each summer.  Stott says that may have to change:

Evalyn Sanguinetti at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

The finishing touches are going on a plan to streamline local government costs.

One of Gov. Bruce Rauner's controversial ideas, is to give local governments the option to discontinue collective bargaining. That's something state law requires now.

The task force chaired by Rauner's lieutenant governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti has embraced the idea.

By the end of this year, Sanguinetti says the group will have a report published, with that and other recommendations for finding mandates that can be done away with, room for government consolidation, and cutting costs.

A court has ruled the Springfield District 186 School Board acted properly when it fired the former superintendent Walter Milton.  An agreement with Milton was negotiated and agreed to in private.  

The State Journal Register alleged the board violated the Open Meetings Act.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Muslims in Illinois are coping with increased scrutiny and incendiary rhetoric. We take you inside a local mosque and introduce you to a business owner in Champaign-Urbana during this two-part series.

Dusty Rhodes / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Cinda Klickna, president of the Illinois Education Association, talks about the Every Student Succeeds Act — the new law that’s replacing No Child Left Behind. Our conversation involves liquid diets and cemeteries. Click the link below to listen.

 

skyzone.com

Bill and Tim discuss the spring opening of Sky Zone in Springfield.    Also ridership down on Amtrak and update on a couple of construction projects on this week's business report.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Muslims in Illinois are coping with increased scrutiny and incendiary rhetoric. We take you inside a local mosque and introduce you to a business owner in Champaign-Urbana during this two-part series.

flickr/DavidWilson

Campaign contributions to former Governor Rod Blagojevich may have sealed the fate for a pair of historic Illinois racetracks. But not if some state legislators have their way.

CPB logo
CPB.org

NPR | Illinois Public Radio has been fortunate to be supported by listeners over the years enabling us to develop comprehensive converage of state government and politics.  Now NPR Illinois will grow further with the launch of a collaboration with other Illinois public media to increase coverage of education,  health/environment, and government. 

uis.edu

University of Illinois Springfield police say an arrest was made over the weekend after threatening statements were posted on social media.  

Wikimedia / user: ACBahn

A fight over locker room access for a transgender student in a Chicago suburb has gained national attention. The agreement reached between one of the state’s largest school districts and the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights could have implications for the rest of the country too.

Flickr/ Shiraz Chakera

Dr. Valerie Hoffman has taught about Islam and the Muslim faith for three decades. She teaches religion at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and has lived in the Middle East.

Office of the comptroller

Domestic violence shelters were one of the social service groups hardest hit by the budget impasse. But $18 million for those 62 shelter agencies was among funds released through legislation passed last week.

Comptroller Leslie Munger recently explained to NPR Illinois what that means for the shelters.

The measure passed last week ordered the release of $3.1 billion, which includes payments to local governments, 911 energy phone services and Lottery winners. Those payments can be made because independent state funds are dedicated to those services, Munger says.

npr.org

  Even with all of its fiscal troubles Illinois will have to put nearly $8 billion into its retirement systems next year -- that's a quarter of the state's expected revenue. Legislative leaders and the governor may finally be poised to begin talking about how they may be able to reduce costs.

Dusty Rhodes / WUIS/Illinois Issues

This week, President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act --- a rewrite of No Child Left Behind. The new law, referred to as ESSA, passed with bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress.


It replaces the wildly unpopular law that's come to be known as No Child Left Untested. Educators are so enthusiastic about this rewrite, the heads of two Illinois teachers unions flew to Washington to witness its signing.

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